Christmas Mantle with a DIY Garland

Oh how I LOVE Christmas!! The look…the feel…the smell…it’s my favorite time of year!

And my favorite part of our home, our Mantel! You’ve seen the Mantel decorated for all the different seasons and Holidays, and even last year for Christmas. But, I think, this has to be by far, my favorite Mantel I have decorated!!

In years past, I have always used the garland made from greenery and added the white lights. This year I wanted to go one step further, and bring a little outside in, so I added fresh green to the artificial garland.

  1. I (with Doug’s help) wired the artificial garland to the Mantel, then added some fresh greenery. After the garland on the front was finished, I added a layer of greenery to the top of the Mantel.
  2. Next come the Santas, first the sleigh with a large Santa and his pack
  3. Then a very tall woodland Santa on the opposite end

I like starting with the largest pieces first and placing them on either end. And the fresh green that I used was arborvitae and spruce.

  1. Then 3 more Santas in the middle
  2. Some very large pinecones that came from my sister in California, many years ago
  3. And some fresh oranges for color and to match the popcorn garland and tie it all in together

Last week while baking the oranges and apples for the popcorn garland, the house smelled so good, like Christmas, I just had to share on Twitter. I had a couple followers ask how I baked the fruit, so I thought I would share with you. It’s really very easy, and I think the results are great!

Christmas Popcorn Garland

You will need…

  • Oranges – sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • Whole Cloves – to put in the oranges
  • Apples – sliced about 1/4 thick
  • Lemon juice to brush onto the apples
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mixture to sprinkle on the fruit
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Popped Popcorn – no butter or salt
  • Needle and clear thread or fishing line
  • 2 teenagers willing to sit and string the garland for you {Thanks Nick and Brittney!}

First you need to bake the fruit…slice oranges and apples, brush apples on both sides with lemon juice, push the cloves (2 or 3 for each slice) into the orange slices, and then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place the fruit on the cooling rack and bake in a slow oven, about 250 degrees for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, watching them closely.

The reason I baked them on the cooling rack is so that the bottoms would also bake. For Halloween we made Shrunken Heads with carved apples and had to flip them over to get them to bake on the bottom. Using the cooling rack definitely helped.

Allow the fruit to cool completely. Then pop the corn, grab the cranberries and start stringing.

So, what do you think? One of your favorites that I have shared?

Are you decorating for Christmas? Just starting…like me? Or all you all done?

Linking to…Sundae Scoop


  1. Your mantle looks wonderful. I strung popcorn on our tree for the first time this year, but never thought of orange slices, I will have to try that, it looks so rustic and festive, and I bet it smells lovely too.
    Denise@ DensDailyLife recently posted..Come on in My Profile

  2. Cute and I bet it smells wonderful! I don’t have the patience to do this – can you just send me some – ha! Thanks for sharing!
    Southern Fried Gal recently posted..Handmade Christmas Cards or ArtMy Profile

  3. Love the oranges in the garland. My boys keep wanting to make a popcorn one but I don’t have the heart for the mess or patience to do ti with them! Yours looks lovely though.

    • CupcakeLady says:

      My 17 yr old and his girlfriend made this garland, and except for when he spilled the popcorn every where, it really wasn’t that messy. :-)
      I hope you give it a try. Thanks for stopping by and Merry Christmas!

  4. How beautiful!! I bet the smell is fabulous! :)

    I was about to say I might need to do that one year. But I just realized I have cats! If I do, I’ll have to hang it really high or they’ll eat it! :)
    Erin @ Where Beauty Meets Function recently posted..12 Days of Christmas – Day 5 – Musical Note OrnamentMy Profile

  5. Your mantel is so sweet!! I love that garland. It just conjours up warm Christmas thoughts!!!

  6. It is great. I was making a popcorn garland for my kitchen this year. I will have to add some fruit. Love the idea!

  7. Mystica says:

    Do the orange slices give a citrussy aroma?

    I have posted my first giveaway on my blog. It is a gift card from CSN stores. Please do come and enter!
    Mystica recently posted..Mailbox Monday 6th December to 12th December 2010My Profile

  8. mrsben says:

    I came by way of “Between Naps on the Porch” (Susan). LOVE your mantel! Very reminiscent of years gone by. Wonderful job!!!!! -Brenda-

  9. Stacey says:

    I love the garland! So pretty! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Stacey recently posted..Christmas – Martha Stewart Dreams and a Mary Heart Part 2My Profile

  10. desiree says:

    Wonderful! Love the rustic feel.

  11. Carey says:

    Great job, love the garland and the big star!

  12. Jody Smith says:

    Great Mantle! Looks very festive!

    Jody Smith recently posted..A Very Simple ChristmasMy Profile

  13. What a fabulous garland! My cranberry one doesn’t smell at all as promised on the internet… I’m betting your fruit variety does. Very cool! Lovely mantel.

    Funky Junk Interiors recently posted..SNS 60 brings you your fav Christmas recipeMy Profile

    • CupcakeLady says:

      Thanks so much Donna! Yes, it does smell great, the cinnamon on the orange and apples adds a nice smell. You can actually smell the popcorn too, it’s kind of funny.
      Thanks for stopping by! Merry Christmas!

  14. Yanet says:

    The mantel looks beautiful! As far as the garland, it’s pretty AND yummy looking!!
    Yanet recently posted..The Farmhouse Table has a Home!My Profile

  15. I might have to try your garland recipe – thanks!
    Inspire Me Heather recently posted..advent calendersMy Profile

  16. Sandy says:

    Love your mantle and the fresh garland is fantastic. Your home must have smelled of Christmas while baking the fruit. I would love to try this but not this year. I’ll bookmark this post and return to it in the future. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea! Happy Holidays!

  17. Diane says:

    I am in awe! I wish I had the time to devote to creating such a wonderfully natural decor for the holidays. I can only imagine how good it smells!

    Diane recently posted..If Money Were No Object Etsy Faves of the Month!My Profile

  18. Jen says:

    Gorgeous! I love it!
    Really diggin the popcorn!

  19. I love metal star! As a Texas girl, I always love the charm these bring, especially at CHRISTmas!
    Kristen @ JoyfullyThriving recently posted..December ThankfulnessMy Profile

  20. I love this! I made Christmas tags one year to put on packages. Just dried oranges & apples and used raffia to tie them onto the package. Turned out really cute. I haven’t done them since. I’ll have to try this next year – it makes the home smell so good.

    I’ve featured you on my blog (sorta) on my Holiday Gifts post about last minute gifts to make for the holidays. Although, to be honest, it’s a list for next year for me! LOL

    I’m following you now and will definitely be back to see other cute things as you create them!

    Tina “the Book Lady”
    Tina “The Book Lady” recently posted..Need a last minute gift idea – make it!My Profile

  21. Mimi says:

    Wow – I love your mantel. I was just planning a red and white one with greenery but after seeing this I’m rethinking :) Beautiful!

  22. FABBY says:

    Great idea! Thanks for the tutorial and your mantel looks beautiful. Do you think you’ll do it again this year? Happy Thanksgiving 2011. FABBY

  23. Amanda G. Jones says:

    That’s a lovely idea too!

  24. Jennifer says:

    This looks wonderful! We’ve already set up for Christmas but there’s always a place that could use some extra added touches :-)


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